“War”, the satirist Ambrose Bierce once said, “is God’s way of teaching Americans geography”. The average investor certainly knows a little more about Yemen today, after yesterday’s Saudi-led airstrikes on targets across the failed state sent global shares down, and oil prices up almost six percent.

Markets remain unsettled this morning, with the prospect of a wider regional conflict acting to restrain risk appetites worldwide. As initial reactions give way to a more sober assessment of the situation, oil prices have have retraced their steps somewhat, leaving West Texas exchanging hands for roughly $50 a barrel, while the more-relevant Brent benchmark is floating near $58.

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